Welford Road welcomed more than 250 young rugby players to Leicester Tigers’ Matchday Coaching Clinics at the club’s last fixture, against Northampton Saints in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
A total of 17 groups from across the Tigers heartland took part in the coaching clinics at the club’s Oval Park training ground, Wyggeston Queen Elizabeth I College and Old Newtonians Rugby Club before soaking up the atmosphere at the Derby Day match.
Tigers’ community coaches worked with the young players to develop their individual and team skills, as well as offering tips and techniques for them to work on.
The young players, from Ashbourne, Boston, Bury St Edmunds, Derby, Kettering, Lichfield, Long Eaton, Mellish, Newark, Peterborough, South Leicester, Sutton Coldfield and Willenhall rugby clubs also had the opportunity to quiz a Tigers player about life in rugby before seeing the professionals in action.
They even managed to follow in the players’ footsteps onto the famous turf.
During half-time the teams made their way on to the pitch to have a team photo with Tigers Academy graduate and England Under-18s captain George Martin, who made his senior club debut earlier at the start of the season.
Andrew Tomkins, a coach from Ashbourne RFC, joined the group on the pitch and said: “The coaching clinic was very good, it was nice to stand back for a change and watch the kids enjoying themselves with someone who could give them fresh ideas.
“There were little games and skills that I’ve not seen before and I’m sure we’ll pick up on in training.
“It’s our first time with the Under-9s – we’ve been here with other age-groups several times – and it was great.”
David Healey from Boston RFC agreed that the coaching session will stand his side in good stead for the rest of the season.
“The coaching clinic was great, the boys and girls enjoyed it and got a lot out of the day,” he said.
“As a coach, I saw different styles to teach and how you can go about things in different ways to keep everyone involved and the session going.
“It’s a great day out for everyone. When they come to a Tigers training, they look up to them more and probably listen more than to me as a normal coach.
“The players will get a lot out of it going into the season.”
Places are available at Matchday Coaching Clinics throughout the season, at all of Tigers’ home games in both the Gallagher Premiership and against Pau, Rugby Calvisano and Cardiff Blues in the European Challenge Cup.
For all group bookings as part of a matchday package – including the all-new Warm-Up Experience, which allows fans to get closer to the action than ever before – or just to share matchday with friends or as part of a celebration, contact our Group Days team on 0116 2171 216 or email [email protected].